September 1, 2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the Cyber branch, the U.S. Army's youngest career branch.
Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) was established in October 2010, but it would be four more years before Cyber became a distinct branch of the Army.
In early 2013 Gen. Robert Cone, commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, advocated for creation of a Cyber school and career field. Later that year Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno approved a consolidated Army Cyber School, which was unveiled at Fort Gordon, Ga., the following year.
In May 2014, seven cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were designated to become the Army's first Cyber officers. Initially they would be commissioned in the Signal or Military Intelligence branches, but would transfer to Cyber when the branch was created.
A few months later, on Aug. 21, 2014, the Army issued General Orders 2014-63, signed by Secretary of the Army John McHugh, establishing the Army Cyber branch. The order took effect Sept. 1, 2014.
Two months later 15 West Point cadets became the first class at the academy to branch directly into the Army as Cyber officers.
"The Army's important decision to launch the Cyber branch five years ago gave our service a unique opportunity," said Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, ARCYBER commanding general. "Our cyberspace operators enjoy a dedicated career field, cutting-edge and adaptive training and education, and talent management to guide a path through an entire career conducting cyber operations. The branch has served as the cornerstone for our operational successes, the development of information warfare and Army multi-domain operations, and the institutional foundation to build upon as we transform this command to maneuver in the information environment."
A year after the formation of the Cyber branch, distinctive insignia was authorized for wear by officer and enlisted personnel assigned to the branch. The insignia centers on a dagger that signifies readiness to prevent global cyber incidents, over two crossed lightning bolts that symbolize the origins of the branch in the intelligence, security and communications disciplines.
In 2016, the U.S. Army Center of Military History officially designated September 1 as the Cyber Corps birthday.